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tv   The Dylan Ratigan Show  MSNBC  January 25, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EST

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innovate our way to solve our country's problems and creates work in the process. the show starts right now. good afternoon to you. as you probably know about five hours from right now the president is going to address a congress that might be a little less divided at least according to appearance. many lawmakers agreeing to sit together for the speech. of course it's a symbolic show of unity. whether it's anything more than that, obviously remains to be seen. the president tonight, however, expected to call for investment in education and infrastructure. republicans already skeptical about that. >> we can't continue to borrow and spend our way to prosperity. i'm hopeful that the president has listened to the american people. i'm hopeful the word investment really isn't more stimulus spending and a bigger government here in washington.
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>> the president will also propose we're told a five year budget freeze on all discretionary spending. that doesn't include defense. no comment on the warrios. he's supposed to be calling for a ban on earmarks. joining us to talk about the speech, a friend from oklahoma, tom coburn. senator it's a pleasure to have you. what's your highest expectation from this evening? >> i think tone is important. i would hope that the president will explain and lay out to the american people how severe our problems are, how are you intelligent they are. i would hope although it's not sounding we'll get the kind of leadership we need to solve the problems. >> how would you define that leadership? >> willing to be honest, that we doubled the size of the federal government over the last ten years. that we can't afford the federal government that we have. freeze for five years on where we are today won't go anywhere close to solving our problems. we need to go back by about $200
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or million or $300 million per year and get our house in order so we can grow the economy and also be able to afford the debt that we have right now. >> how do we create the necessary incentives to drive the growth we need. you can cut and there's lots of cutting to be done and it shouldn't be widely debated and done but ultimately it will be a dynamic growth period that will bring this country to prosperity. what policies do you see that will be notices drive that? >> well, i agree partially with you, dylan. there's no way we can grow out of the problem that we're in. it's impossible. we would have to be at like 14% or 15% annualized growth over the next 20 years to get out of the problem we're in. it can't just be growth. it has to be reform of health care. our biggest problem is health care is going to don't take a larger and larger percentage of our gdp even with obamacare,
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because we have not attacked the real problem and the real problem is it costs too much. costs twice here what it should cost. that's one. the other is, we need to eliminate the territorial tax system. we're actually dissuading corporations around the world including ours from investing here. so that's one thing we need to do. we need to change the corporate tax structure. we need to change the rates in this country and eliminate a lot of the tax credits over a period of time so we don't interfere in the economy with the allocation of capital. we're directing capital based on what the tax credits are rather than what's the best place to put capital to create prosperity and jobs. so i think it's a combination of all of those. we have no area in the country that the federal government runs not one single area that is both efficient an effective and we have duplications like crazy throughout the federal
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government, and to take the time, if you'll give me the time i'll explain some of that. we have 105 education programs for science, education, technology and math. engineering and math. we have 67 job training programs, we spend $30 billion a year on through nine different agencies, none of them have a metric. we have 30 programs for childhood obesity. 30 right now. none of them have a metrics. 30 sets of bureaucrats. i can go on and on. there's 656 duplications that nobody is looking at. those count up to billions and billions and billions probably close to 80 or 90 billion dollars a year if we eliminate the duplication. if you take the fraud out of medicare, which i met with people today trying to get the cms to respond to get the fraud out which is 80 to 90 billion dollars a year. so it's not that we can't do it it's that we aren't doing it and
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we need leadership to say we have to start doing the things, we have to go over some people's ox oxes including mine. >> how big is the gap between the rhetoric that you just offered up here on television about duplication, i won't repeat what you just said, but how big is is it between your rhetoric and the republican leadership, your rhetoric and the democratic leadership, your rhetoric and the white house? >> i think -- i don't think the gap is not that big. the fact is people aren't aware. i mean last year i had three instances of committee hearings that i was working on bills that people i was trying to stop bills that people were offering to solve problems when we already had government agencies that were responsible to do exactly the same thing that the bill offered. so what you're really saying is that the members of congress aren't aware of what the government is doing now so we continue to borrow money that we don't have to spend on things that we either don't need or
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spending money on that we don't have good results from. so it's a matter of educating and people digging in and say we got a problem in this country. we're going to work together to solve the problem. the first thing you got to do is know the facts. the vast majority of the people in congress don't know where the government is spending their money. >> is point for a man like yourself to get together with your state of the union date this evening chuck schumer, put together a piece of legislation that just addresses duplication? could you actually just go with this legislatively with your leadership? >> we do. the problem is this cuts across all the committees. what we need is a group of people which we're working -- we're putting together a group to put forward southeast findings of the deficit commission of which many of those, i offered in the deficit commission. there's also -- there's $50 billion worth of waste a year in the pentagon and we need to go get it and make sure they
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understand that there's no longer a free ride. you got to justify everything you're doing and it has to be done on a cost effective basis. >> what's the subject of conversation going to be with chuck schumering tonight between listening? >> whether i've got some double sided tape to keep him in his seat so he doesn't stand up all the time. >> if you were to look at sort of the refinement of the message here on this show as we're on the eve of the steel on wheels tour, we partnered with the largest steel company in america to drive a message that goes towards the tax fairness you were suggesting, that goes towards trade fairness, that goes towards reducing the health care cost. we're at mayo clinic tomorrow. i said what's the big deal around here? we'll get into this on tomorrow's show. it's not that big of a deal. we have teams of doctors working on salary trying to heal patients. fee for service is taken out of it. they work as a crew.
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is that an insane concept? >> it's not. we'll never control health care cost until the person purchasing the health care has a large involvement in the payment for that health care. we have disconnected the ability. you know, everybody thinks somebody sells paying for their health care. and when you take all market forces away, which we have except in those areas that aren't covered by insurance, and now you're really seeing competitive -- you're seeing price declines, you're seeing innovation and delivery in those areas that's not covered. the great example is the amish. i delivered about 400 or 500 amish babies. every one of those were very consistent in how they approached health care. they wanted the best price. they wanted to know why a test was ordered and whether it was necessary. they wanted to know where they could get the test done the cheapest.
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every one of those deliveries was paid at in advance at a 60% discount at the hospital i delivered. so markets work in terms of allocating scarce resources and we've refused to embrace what built this country, which is market forces a locating scarce resources so capital flows where it can get the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people. >> enjoy your evening. coming up on "the dylan ratigan show", the pentagon, surprise, surprise, on the defense. what the military said after our wikileaks segment yesterday on their alleged abuse of bradley manning who has not been charged with anything. plus, date of the union. we'll talk about the scramble for bipartisan buddies. it's not just chuck and tom at the big speech tonight. ♪ the only one more me is you
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i think that the only thing that will stop the abuses of bradley manning is if people start asking questions. no one knows what manning did. he never said what de. all the information we know what may have happened comes from an unreliable source. >> that's detailing the conditions of bradley manning. and his ongoing detention, that yesterday on the show. along with her own brush with the military police in trying to visit private manning. just after the show, pentagon officials spoke to nbc news about manning, the soldier accused of giving documents to wikileaks founder julian
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assange. here's what they had to say. they say they found no direct link at all between manning and wikileaks founder julian assange and they admitted the decision to put him under suicide watch was a violation of procedure but do deny manning is being mistreated orat eor tortured in. 23-hour day lockdown. sleep deprivation. 243 days of conninth. joining us now to talk about it, our team democratic strategist and msnbc political analyst karen finny. republican strategist susan and our washington insider jimy williams. a pleasure to see all you. karen, i'll start with you. how does the president, the white house, the pentagon respond to a country that treats somebody the way they are treating private manning,
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uncharged, 243 days in solitary. how does this happen? >> you know, unfortunately, dylan, as i understand and jimmy having gone to the citadel will know better than me, he's under the auspices of military law and as i under it it's very different than the system would be if you or i were arrested for something. there isn't a due process. there's no due process. either. >> it sound like they acknowledged yesterday that perhaps protocol was broken and hopefully they will rectify that. again, dylan, part of the problem here -- and i don't disagree with you and what you were saying in terms of the concern. at the same time, you know, this is a very serious issue. these are top secret information. i believe what they were worried -- >> he hasn't been charged. >> what they were able to confirm is he downloaded information to his personal
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computer. that's an offense. you're not supposed to do that. >> basically if you download the wrong information, jimmy we can hold you, not try you, put you in solitary for 243 days, arbitrarily put you on suicide watch. it sound more like guantanamo than the uniform code of military conduct to me. >> guantanamo is the military, dylan in a thit tei dylan. when you go into a court of law as a civilian versus the military they are not the same. when you sign up for the military you go in and you know it ain't a cake walk. if this guy did what they say he did despite he hasn't been charged, then he broke the law. >> but if he did what they say he did why don't they charge it? >> they don't have to. it's the military. >> you can pick somebody up, not charge them, tell the press that they did something but not charge them and put them in solitary and torture them?
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listen, my understanding is that every person who gets charged inside the uniform code of military conduct doesn't get treated anything like this with all due respect. just how it is in the military is insulting. >> may be insulting. go into the military thinking that you have the same rights as everybody else. i'm sorry, i know it sounds cold hearted and mean and terrible but the military isn't exactly -- it's not a cake walk. it's called public service. when you give up your life for public service you give up certain freedoms and liberties. >> you got the civilian code of conduct, uniform military code of conduct and guantanamo bay code of conduct which is arbitrarily chosen by the political leadership, is that basically our country? >> but you are held to a higher standard when you go into the military. >> why don't they charge him? >> it seems like they are trying to focus on making the case of connecting him to wikileaks. it's not so much they are questioning did he or did he not
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download the information which is certainly a crime, a very serious one at that, it's that they are trying to nail down how -- if did it and how it happened to wikileaks. >> all right. let's move along here. hopefully i don't get put in solitary for talk about it. i think you guys are afraid they are coming for you next. next topic, the president's big speech tonight, thanks to the mixed party seating plan, lawmakers are scrambling to find their bffs across the aisle. a little bit of fun. little bit less than state of the union and as we see it more like date of the union. take a look. >> no one can tell you where a first date will lead. >> what do you do fun? >> i started taking tango lessons. >> i want to sit next to peter in case he comes up with an idea that's correct which rarely happens with peter. >> moving forward. >> darn, darn, darn.
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>> i'm sitting with congresswoman meeks. >> this has been a little bit of a dating show, you know, who your going with remind me a little bit of eighth grade. i got a double date and we'll see how that goes out. >> we're going out for a candlelight dinner and dancing i expect. >> too many fun stories here to work with. my favorite we were just looking at congressman king. king's wife said two loud mouths should sit together so ask wehner if he'll go with you. pelosi was spoken for by the time cantor got there. the dating game aside, karen, sort of your read into the symbolism of what they are doing tonight? >> the symbolism is nice. it will create a nice image. the risk for both parties is what happens next. what happens tomorrow and going forward. i think that, you know, on the positive side it may give americans some sense of feeling like okay maybe these guys can
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work together. if we then go back to the kind of squabbling that we saw in the last couple of years i think that actually will be damaging to both parties because i think it will make americans further sickened with what's going on in washington. >> james? >> well, i mean, look, it's nice and everyone loves window dressing, and listen. at it good idea? i think it's a great idea. but at the same time karen is right, i think susan would probably agree. what happens tomorrow. by the way, what happens as soon as the president is done. those members of congress, all 535 of them run out of the house chamber like rats and they go into the hall and they give about 55 interviews to the local press people, to politico, to you guys and they all say the president was great or the president sucked or whatever. and by the way, let the vetting begin because at the end of the day you just had senator tom coburn on your show and he said
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the size of government has doubled in the last ten years. that may be true, but what i wish someone would point out to senator tom coburn is if that's the case, then someone explain to me how under the last ten years barack obama was only president two of them and george bush doubled the size of government because i don't understand why after 9:00 p.m. tonight they will run around and bash but before that it's a rodney king moment. >> is this a load of crap? >> everyone has to remember their manners and it's rude not leave with the person who brought to you the dance. >> coburn said he's bringing double sided tape to keep schumer in his hair. >> he may need some rope to tie him down. >> work for chuck schumer. that's not going to work. it won't work, let me tell you. that guy, you can't keep chuck schumer in his seat and you
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shouldn't. >> go ahead, susan. >> but seriously it is important to see what happens after. you know, the american public spoke loud and clear last november. they want to see things get done. and the reality of this political environment is that they are going to have to get it done in the next five or six months, or they are all going to have to go back and explain to their constituents how you elected them and they did nothing and that's a problem for the republicans especially. >> quick. >> well there's actually 533 members, jimmy because there are two republicans who will be offering the republican response. apparently mr. ryan wants to privatize social security. michelle bachmann has to get her words in. it will be broadcast live. we'll see what we learn about the agenda of the republican party from these two speeches. >> dylan, let's not forget there will be an open seat on the house floor for congresswoman
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giffords who will not be there, obviously. >> great conversation, you guys. we know when the secret police come they are coming for me. you three are fine. >> we gave them your address. >> put it on twitter. have a good night, you guys. of course msnbc will have full coverage of the state of the union tonight starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern time. but right here up next steel on wheels. how to build, how to innovate, how to adapt to a new economy with or without the government. we're back right after this. ike. i do too. ♪ even if i'm poor ♪ i ain't chasing nothing ♪ you're gonna have to catch me ♪ ♪ and if you want to dance ♪ you're gonna have to pay a fee ♪ ♪ i'm the bomb and about to blow up ♪ ♪ yeah, i'm the bomb ♪ and about to blow up ♪ yeah ♪ whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh ♪ whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh ♪ everybody, sing it now ♪ whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh ♪ whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh ♪ everybody, sing it now >> man: diving to 4,000 meters.
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welcome back. i want to correct one thing i was saying in the bradley manning conversation. he has been charged with illegal downloading, excuse me. which is why they have him there. he has not been charged or linked with giving that information to anybody wikileaks or anybody else. i apologize for my error. in that regard, as we turn our attention to the state of our union, stock market is doing
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great thanks to the fed money printing but around one in every ten workers by the government's count is unemployed and if you add under employment or those not counted it rises to one out of every six americans. so how do you have financial prosperity at the expense of american employment? 1.4 million workers have been unemployed for 99 weeks or more. many of their jobs will never come back. more than that, it feels as if america has lost its purpose. where are the jobs? and what are those jobs to do? where is the innovation in our economy. why aren't we addressing a major crew sid for energy independence partnership dressing a major crew sid for cost efficient health care? well, we're looking for solutions to these problems. launching the second leg of our steel on wheels tour starting tomorrow at the mayo clinic in rochester, minnesota. today we're discussing the jobs and innovation crisis that
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prevails in this country with scott paul, executive director for the alliance for american manufacturing, also joined by richard florida, an expert on cities and innovation and author of "the great reset." these two men come from this problem from a different place. one from the robust act and manufacturing core of this country and the other looking at the ways to harness all of the modern technology and all of the modern interconnectedness to create new jobs both of which, obviously, incredibly vital to taking this country forward and i'm going to begin with you richard and the book the great reset. what is the point of that book? >> you know this crisis we're going through is a once in a century event. we've been through two other big ones before, the big depression and the crisis of the late 19th-century. what we know is even though they are long term events and two or three decades. generation they are period of massive innovation and massive
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business formation. we got to get back to that. you're right, the key we have to do is begin to stoke that job engine that's been false terrifying for far too long. >> the problem is that there's so many businesses right now that are threatened by the very innovation that you're advocating for, richard. the health care systems. i was out at the mayo clinic over the past couple of days. the way they do it is very disruptive in the fee for service business. if you look at what is possible in terms of energy generation and what a threat is that. if you look at what is possible in terms of financial systems and lending and investment that's incredibly threatening to very powerful profit centers that supply our political donation which seems very similar to the railroads and the banks in the 1890s that led to teddy roosevelt. is that the right context for this? >> well, absolutely. you know, we were told a long time ago these periods of reset and version are periods of
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creative destruction. they destroy a lot of things to set the economy anew. we to break the stranglehold. we have to get back to the basics of building a real economy. not a financial economy. a real economy around talented people, around smart investment, around innovation and job creation. that's what has to be the topic of the state of the union tonight in going forward. >> no one has been a bigger victim than the manufacturing base in this country which can't compete with both the slave labor aspects that's used in manufacturing overseas and a deliberately rigged currency, scott. give us a sense of what you see as the greatest core leverage that we have and we can generate with the steel on wheels tour and can generate with our collective efforts, your, mine, richard florida and millions of people that share our values. just to bring back fairness to the manufacturing business. >> sure. i think one key thing we all have to do is to spell this false notion that we can
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innovate in this country but make things in other countries, that we don't want those jobs. i think the sad truth of it is and we had about a 0 ye20 year experiment is when the innovation goes the production follows. we lost 5 million jobs. 50,000 factories over the last decade. consider this as well. china now has the world's fastest super computer. we don't. china will file more patents this coming year than either japan or the united states. china may overtake the united states this year in terms of manufacturing output. and we are importing technology to build our car battery, our wind turbines. it's precisely because we don't have a manufacturing strategy. the one thing that i hope we can all learn is that how
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interconnected innovation and production are in the united states. the importance of public investment. and the importance of supporting basic science and that lab structure we had that gave us the wonderful things like the internet, the gps, things we take for granted today. there's no guarantee that the next best thing will come from an american lab or be made in an american factory. >> is the central policy you see is driving innovation? >> i want to go something to scott said. 20 years ago, 30 years ago i wrote a book called "break through illusions." scott is absolutely right. as we focused on innovation we lost manufacturing. we only have about 10% of our workforce today in direct production. here's what we got to do. we have 60 million plus americans who are toiling in low wage, horrible service jobs. >> crappie jobs. >> crappie jobs. working in big box stores.
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taking care of our children. taking care of our ailing parents. as a country we have to make those jobs good jobs. my dad had a job in the depression in a factory making eye glasses. he went off for the war. he came back from the war and had a good job. we made factory jobs good jobs. we have to make those 60 million service jobs good jobs and i hope to god president obama focus on tonight. >> if you were to look at the comepulsion to do this, to strengthen our economy and the only barrier certain manufacturing interests that's along the china construct and very powerful financial interests that will be very disrupted by the comepulsion whether through tax policy or other mechanisms to drive capital into long term and intermediate term investment and ideas and entrepreneurship and factories as posed to the constant short term sort of paper pushing that goes on in new york right now, how do you
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break the stranglehold of the financial community and certain trade interests that will be necessary to release the cascade that the two of you are talking about? >> well, if you can figure that out you have the rosetta stone. we can make some progress and here's how. we have to change the incentives. we can do that in two ways. we have to take on china's mr. c -- mercantilism. we have to get our own house in order. when we spend public money i want needs be focused on innovation, education, research and development, building out our infrastructure, investing in our workforce for these productive jobs and innovative jobs and we have to break this notion that our future is in the knowledge economy or financial services alone. we tried that, didn't work out so well. we need a strong manufacturing base. we need to growth. things will grow out of that. >> richard, how do you break the stranglehold. >> you go back to was happening
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in the cities and states. the nirks governors, the leaders of our state economies. they are investing in manufacturing, innovation. they are partnering american companies. they encouraged some foreign investment. upgraded supply chains. our president has to lead here and's to make the case as scott said for innovation, for production, for upgrading jobs. we have to get away from the distractions. we did health care. we have to build a narrative about building an innovative america. the president can set that table tonight. over the next four, fire years we can begin the process but we need a new strategy for innovation, for economic competitive jobs. snowboard leapt us be proud of what we do. thank you so much. i really appreciate it. as i mentioned, thanks guys. we're fired up here.
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we're kicking off the next leg of the steel on wheels tour. it launches tomorrow out of minnesota. our focus is on innovation. we start at the famous mayo clinic in minnesota looking at their low cost team based salary driven high quality health care system that is incredible. not only in the fulfillment that physicians are experiencing and the quality of the care, but its cost and it's ability to solve problems in novel cheaper ways. when we roll out of minnesota it's to omaha we go. nebraska. suzy buffet spearheading an effort to improve early childhood development as we'll be live from a school. one of the largest public schools in america and they are doing it right and doing it well. we'll talk to them how it is they have been able to bring together such a diverse population into a cause to achieve those educational goals. suzy buffet an alumni of omaha central. friday wrapping things up in
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colorado where entrepreneurs are adapting the -- to a local new economy in colorado proving you can lift that model of investment in education outof california, bring to it maine, bring to it texas, they are bringing to it pittsburgh. we'll show it off in colorado later this week. we're also going host a town hall. i hope you join us streaming on the web. we'll be at the university of denver on flooit. we'll announce the streaming syndicate later in the week. we'll take your questions by way of skype. speak egg of the internet and this is the most important thing, forget all the tv shows and all the bells and whistles. if we're going to solve our problem we have to do it as a group. logon and take a look at steel on wheels.com. it's a very simple site. we create ad unique platform. you can contribute your ideas how to solve our challenges. there's two ways to get
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involved. first sub mate challenge. you think we have a chance to solve? put it in there? the dr show will crowd source for a solution to your problems. second and i think this may be the most fun you can be a problem solver yourself. search for ideas that others have submitted and team up with other users to try to identify solutions to local problems in denver, in omaha, in rochester, minnesota. back in seneca falls, all these different cities. we'll be reviewing the top ideas to then look to partner with the crowd to either raise money for them, create resources for you, to try to help solve those problems locally. do i hope you logon to steel on wheels. join in the conversation. vote on ideas you believe in. submit your own ideas to steel on wheels.com. the next leg of the tour begins tomorrow. tell your friends about it. 4:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. at purina one, we want your cat to be as healthy as possible.
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welcome back. we'll take a little break from all the heated rhetoric for a second here and, well, take a look at innovation in any form in this economy. in this case i would like to take a look moving forward, yes, with that in mind. the newest hot spot for weddings. funeral homes. crafty parlor owners are marketing their open space availability and cheap prices towards guests that can still enjoy the room. for those worried that you'll be marrying surrounded by sadness keep in mind they do caskets in churches too. while we're talking proposals a town in the uk, this is not a joke, a town in uk is considering the most alternative of fuel sources to heat their public pool. humans. it's not as bad as it sound. they want to pipe in excess heat
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from a nearby crematorium. no joke. the plan would save the town $23,000 a year and the people already at the crematorium, you know they are already there. critics call the plan ghoulish. i say dive in. i'm not sure i say that. but they are already burning the people. i don't know. i'll stop. up next the barber of birmingham. a new film about how the foot soldier from the civil rights movement became a community icon for decades. this is an incredible story featured at sundance this year. a clip of the film next. we play ball together. [ male announcer ] chantix is a non-nicotine pill proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. and you can even smoke during the first week. quitting on my own never seemed to be enough. this time it was different. this time i was ready. ready to take control. ready to talk to my doctor. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation,
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i want to highlight a new documentary about the long arc of the civil rites movement through the eyes of a single barber in a single barber shop. the barber of birmingham follows the late james armstrong who was a foot soldier of the civil rights movement in alabama and his shop, a bustling hub. even cut the hair of martin luther king, jr.. >> we started to struggle. i remember some terrible days. things are changing. black men is the president of the united states. how do you say that to your self? black man. president of the united states. >> we're joined by the
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co-director and shirley who appears in the film and documented the lives of many civil heroes. robin, what do you think the lesson, the core lesson in this film is and how would you apply to it the climate of this country today? >> well, i think that one of the things that when i spoke with mr. armstrong and many of the foot soldiers, the thing that struck me the most that they kept coming back to was how change takes time. that change happens, but it takes time. and we saw that with mr. armstrong when he, his sons integrated to the elementary school. it took him six years. there were eight families who started the process with him. and at the end he was the only one who followed through. and after six long years of struggling his children integrated to an all white school. so i think the message that change does take time. >> shirley, i see you nodding.
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>> yes, i agree. we know in the civil rights movement we know it took time for things to change in the struggle. mr. armstrong as well as several others, they all just waited their time. they waited until the time was right. they did make a change. >> tell us, shirley, a little bit about that tenacity, the sort of things people had to endure and the duration. how long they had to endure this sort of thing. >> well, they endured it for a number of years. in fact, they really endured from the time of slavery. but in the '50s and '60s, it didn't seem like they were going to get any peace. grown men were being talked to by 16-year-old kids like they were nothing, and they had to accept that. they had to step off the sidewalk when a person of another race, you know, confronted them. and they somewhat felt like they
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were not men. they had to restore their pride within themselves. so they united together in a defiant front and they fought the evils of segregation and discrimination. and as a result of their tenacity they broke the back of segregation in the south. >> tell us a little bit more about the barber himself, robin. >> well, mr. armstrong spent -- besides being a barber in birmingham for over 50 years, he spent his life with the struggle n-at the grating his children into the school. his home was bombed. he was the first to move into a white neighborhood. he carried the flag on bloody sunday and continued to carry that flag each year in the march held in selma. during the bloody sunday march when he was beaten and fell he didn't drop that flag.
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so he was dedicated to the movement and to civil rights, to civili inrights for all. >> shirley what does it mean for to you have this film come to completion and to be shown as at a venue as glamorous as sundance? >> it means so much to me because i know the people, and i knew southeast people that are in the movie. for instance, mr. james armstrong, i knew him personally. he's talked to me. he has given me directions. and tommy gave me knowledge of the civil rights movement. there are so many people in the movie that i can relate to personally that i know or that i knew. it means so much to me to be here, to represent those who paved the way before me and those who are trying to pave the way with me today. >> listen, robin, shirley,
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congratulations. enjoy the mountains. >> thank you. >> enjoy the snow. thank you, guys. >> thank you. >> robin friday, the film "the barber of birmingham." coming up on "hardball", chris matthews with much more on what to expect from the president tonight at the state of the union. but first, the state of our schools, what it will really take to invest in america's educational system. michelle bernard with the daily rant right after this. this is my band from the 80's, looker. hair and mascara, a lethal combo. i'm jon haber of alto music. my business is all about getting music into people's hands. and the plum card from american express open helps me do that. you name it, i can buy it. and the savings that we get from the early pay discount has given us money to reinvest back into our business and help quadruple our floor space.
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welcome back. little daily rant for you. michelle bernard's turn. she's hoping lawmakers will news
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bipartisanship to fix what's failing so many america's children. michelle, the floor is yours. >> thanks. tonight president obama addresses the nation and will touch on issues important to all of us. particularly the economy and jobs. but the truth is we can discuss job creation and economic recovery until we're blue in the face but until we're willing to take a hard look at how we educate our children in this country, it's a complete waste of time. overall the unemployment rate is still hovering between 9% and 10%. the unemployment rate among minorities is much higher around 14.8% for blacks and similar number for latinos. these along with people living in rural areas are the ones most often stuck in failing schools. american exceptionalism and competitiveness have absolutely no future if we're not willing to reevaluate 0-mere educating our children now. according to the department of education, as of 2008 more than 1700 dropout factories or high schools in which less than 60%
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of students graduate exist. the students who dropout are overwhelmingly african-american and latino. they are trapped in schools that from very early in their education keep moving them from grade to grade without giving them the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful adults. and according to the bureau of labor statistics, the unemployment rate for high school dropouts is a whopping 26.9%. it is for this reason that i've joined a coalition of more than 150 organizations from the right, from the left and in the center to spotlight national school choice week. we're reaching out to parents across the country to teach them how to advocate for the future of every child. all of us say we want the best possible education for america's children. some of us have the means to live in neighborhoods with exceptional public schools. but so many americans just don't. tonight we'll watch our leaders walk side-by-side with people
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from the opposing party to show civility in politics. that's fine and good but until they can saint conference room together, put politics aside and realize that at the end of the day they can both espouse school choice as important to meaningful education reform i'm not terribly impressed. after all school choice is the most critical civil rights issue of our time. i hope that tonight the president realizes that our children can't wait for the adults to get their acts together any longer and that if we want our unemployment rate to go down and stay down thus making our economy stronger in the future, we're going to have to ensure the next generation, those in poor neighborhoods as well as those in so-called good neighborhoods are ready to take the reins. >> why is school choice so important to that? >> it's important because right now the decision does not lie with parents. where your child goes school is based on your zip code. school choice can change that
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because if you live in a poor neighborhood, if you live in an urban neighborhood or rural neighborhood or any written the country for that matter where the schools are underforming and your children are not getting a good education or the best education they could have access to, school choice puts the decision making process in the hands of the parents. it's what the gentleman that we just heard about in your earlier segment, the barber from birmingham fought for in terms of integration of the public schools. our schools are still overwhelmingly separate. they are still overwhelmingly unequal. if you live in a poor neighborhood right now parents don't have the ability to say you know what? i'm going take my tax dollars and put my children in a school that shows a belief that every single child can learn and shows an ability to teach all students and that's why school choice is critical. it's time that the decision be made by parents and not by where they just happen to live. >> thank you so much. a fine rant.

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